Initial Thoughts: I am a huge sucker for romance manga (and anime). For those who do not know, manga is a Japanese version of a graphic novel (or comic). These aren’t the comics you will find in the newspaper, but rather, artwork and dialogue is combined to tell a full-length story (usually around 200 pages). Some manga are published in serial until each part is combined into a volume, and some are published as is. In Japan, manga is roughly $5. Unfortunately, whenever I buy a manga, it seems like a huge investment, as they tend to cost a bit more than the average paperback ($15-$25 Canadian).
Perfect World, Vol. 1 by Rie Aruga
Perfect World is Rie Aruga’s touching drama about the romance that develops between an abled interior designer and her first love, whom she reencounters one day only to find he is wheelchair-bound.
26-year-old Tsugumi Kawana reunites with her first crush from high school, Itsuki Ayukawa, at a get-together between an architecture firm and the interior design company she works at. He sends her heart aflutter, until she realizes he’s now disabled, and in a wheelchair. At first she feels she couldn’t date a guy in a wheelchair, but then her feelings begin to change …” – Goodreads
Tsugumi Kawana is an interior designer who has just reunited with her childhood friend from high school, Itsuki Ayukawa. But, since their last meeting, Ayukawa had gotten into an accident leaving him in a wheelchair with a spinal cord injury. As Kawana gradually falls in love with Ayukawa, she begins to realize how difficult her life would be dating someone in a wheelchair. Meanwhile, Ayukawa refuses to fall in love ever since he had broken up with his high school sweetheart.
Perfect World does not sugar coat the issues arising with disabilities. I had expected this manga to have a lighthearted story where Kawana would have to overcome her reservations for dating someone in a wheelchair. Instead, Ayukawa’s health problems are worrisome, and paint an accurate portrait of what someone with a spinal cord disability would have to face on a regular basis. When Ayukawa is first introduced, he appears to be an optimist who has begun to overcome adversity faced through his spinal cord injury. But, as the story goes on, Kawana realizes just how difficult Ayukawa must struggle on a daily basis. Their love story is hardly perfect, but its realism makes it all the more endearing.
The artwork of this manga is clean, and the translation is very clear and understandable. Perfect World is a great manga for those who love to read romantic dramas.
*I received an advanced copy of Perfect World from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Perfect World will be released today, March 20, 2018.
About the Book
Title: Perfect World vol. 1 (original title: パーフェクトワールド 1) Author: Rie Aruga Series: Perfect World (6 volumes: only vol. 1 has been translated into English so far) Year Published: Originally: 2015, English Translation: March 20,2018 Genres & Subjects: Manga, Romance, Drama, Disability, Realistic fiction
Until Next Time,